POLITICS

Man, 26, faces slew of firearms charges in Boxing Day mall shooting in Ottawa

12/31/2014 09:46 EST | Updated 03/02/2015 05:59 EST
OTTAWA - A man faces several firearms charges following a Boxing Day shooting at an Ottawa mall, the first of three shootings in the city in less than a week.

The record-high level of shootings in the nation's capital has prompted fears of escalating violence among the city's gangs.

On Boxing Day, a man in his 20s was treated in hospital after being shot in the foot at the crowded Tanger Outlet Mall in the city's west end.

Police have said the incident was a targeted shooting and involved members of the same gang.

Yaqoub Ali, 26, was arrested on Tuesday and police say he faces a slew of charges, all firearms offences.

On Monday morning, a man was wounded by gunfire at a downtown intersection and later that day, numerous shots were fired in a suburban neighbourhood and a male under 20 years old was wounded.

The city has now recorded 48 shootings in 2014, up from 30 the year before.

The acting chief of Ottawa police said gun violence and the gang activity associated with it is a priority for the city.

"Investigations into other shootings in Ottawa remain underway and we are significantly increasing the number of guns and gangs investigators looking into those cases," Jill Skinner said in a statement.

Ottawa police say they made 83 arrests of gang members in 2014 and seized 53 guns, more than half of which were handguns.

"Ottawa remains a safe city," Skinner added.

"We are committed to addressing these crimes."